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  1. #1
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    Default Best sleeping pad on the market?

    H E L L O!

    I am planning a section hike in Georgia for this upcomming May. I am currently looking for something magical to go underneath my Nemo sleeping bag. The couple of times I have 'roughed' it camping, my ribs have felt broken the next day. I am looking for a soft place to fall each night (wishful thinking) to boost my experience on the trail.
    Thanks for any product recommendations in advance!

    JESS
    -If it betters our world, I'm here for it. ♥

  2. #2
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    I've been using the thermarest neoair extherm for years weight 1lb. R-value 7.2 . I can lay it down on a sheet of ice and sleep and never to warm in the summer. 3" of comfortable goodness, I'm a side sleeper and toss and turn all night no problems sleeping on this thing. I don't know about the best but the best for me right now. This gonna be another one those subjective what works for me might not for you questions. Good luck!

  3. #3

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    Definitely going to be subjective...

    For what it's worth, I still find the older self inflating foam core thermarest style more comfortable to sleep on than the newer inflatable designs. That said, there's a huge jump in insulation value per ounce with the new products.

  4. #4
    Leonidas
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    There is no best anything. Trial and error is the best way to find what pad will work best for you with price/weight/size all being factors.
    I personally use the Therm-a-rest xlite and enjoy it except in summer when it tends to be too warm for me. I like a lower r for that to help me actually lose heat to the ground.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

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  5. #5
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Yeah with the price of these things you wanna get it right sooner than later. I know before all this covid crap you could go into rei and lay on alot of them for comfortably testing. Maybe they'll make you wear a tyvex suit !

  6. #6
    Registered User carouselambra's Avatar
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    I have been very pleased with my Nemo Tensor pad.

  7. #7
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    I too have been very happy with my NeoAir xLite.
    I agree the self inflating pads have a different feel, but the lighter weight and ease of pack-ability is SOOOOOO worth the difference.
    I've liked it enough that I also spent the money for my son to have one because it was too hard to get the self inflating pads rolled up in the morning.

  8. #8

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    Just spent my first, very comfortable night on Sea to Summit Etherlight XT. I’m a guy, but got women’s large, as it had a little extra R value. Stuff sack inflator works great and rolls up quickly. More comfortable than my old REI Air Rail, and WAY easier to roll up. I toss and turn, didn’t hit bottom at all.

  9. #9
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaF7 View Post
    H E L L O!

    I am planning a section hike in Georgia for this upcomming May. I am currently looking for something magical to go underneath my Nemo sleeping bag. The couple of times I have 'roughed' it camping, my ribs have felt broken the next day. I am looking for a soft place to fall each night (wishful thinking) to boost my experience on the trail.
    Thanks for any product recommendations in advance!

    JESS
    What pad did you use the couple times you've been out? I take it by your descriptions it was a thin sleeping mat like the blue one or z-lite, which I used the z-lite for years. You think you're sore now wait until you hit the mid 50's. About 5 years or so ago I finally broke down and purchased a thermarest. Ahhh awesomeness!!

  10. #10
    Is it raining yet?
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    Default

    Anything with the name Therm-a-Rest on it will provide you with years of comfortable nights under the stars; so long as it is at least as long as you are.
    Be Prepared

  11. #11

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    I have a Neoair XLite, and like it. For when it’s colder, I got an XTherm, and it truly keeps me warm—from the ground, at least. I’ll also mention that the wide keeps your arms from falling off. When they fall off, they get cold and then you have to move around to get warm and comfortable again. It weighs a little more, but it has meant I sleep much better.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    Anything with the name Therm-a-Rest on it will provide you with years of comfortable nights under the stars; so long as it is at least as long as you are.
    This is the route I went with. I visited an Earth Adventure's store last night and laid a few out on the floor and tested them out for myself. I went with the Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro.
    It will be put to the test this weekend. Thanks for all the help everyone!
    -If it betters our world, I'm here for it. ♥

  13. #13

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    Very happy with my xlite and Nemo tensor. When I want to save a few ounces I take the xlite.

  14. #14

    Default

    Ditto what a couple of others said. I purchased my Neoair X-lite in 2013 and it is still going strong. It now has close to 2,000 miles on it. I use it in 3 seasons and it has kept me warm and comfortable. I'm also a side sleeper and toss and turn a lot. My Katabatic quilt attaches to it perfectly. The only thing to consider is width. Mine is just a little narrow so I do sometimes get cold spots if it is especially cold and body parts are hanging off. :-)

  15. #15
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Average Hiker View Post
    I purchased my Neoair X-lite in 2013 and it is still going strong.
    Glad you mentioned that... because when I saw this pop back to the top of the list (and forgot I had already responded to it) one of the first things that popped to mind at this point is the fact that the Neoair X-lite is now a mature technology that gets good reviews.
    While everyone was enjoying their self-inflating Therm-a-rest mattress, the company was trying to come up with a lighter mattress by getting rid of the foam.
    The stumbling block was trying to create an "Air-Pad" with enough insulation that it would still be good for 3-season use.
    They eventually released their crinkly rectangular NeoAir. Of course everyone complained about the sound everytime you moved, and their response was the NeoAir X-lite.

    As Average Hiker points out he purchased his x-lite in 2013, that means this technology is pretty mature.
    I believe the next NeoAir to be released was the XTherm JNI64 referenced. It adds additional R-value for 4-season hiking, at the cost of additional weight.

    Since that time, Therm-a-Rest has been toying with variations:

    They created a version that the end opened something like a garbage bag to allow quick inflation.
    But I seem to recall there were lots of reviews that these pads had leak issues.
    I think the problem was that you closed the pad up the way you roll a "dry" bag. I guess that design just couldn't hold up to the pressure of someone sleeping on the pad as this style is no longer available from Therm-a-rest.

    Their latest introduction to the NeoAir seems to be the UberLite. It's about 25% lighter than the x-lite.
    But it's getting a lot of reviews claiming it's not durable.


    So IMHO, I don't think you are going to find a mattress that is going to match the X-Lite and XTherm for it's combination of light weight, warmth (R-Value), comfort (2.5" thick), and reliability.

  16. #16

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    It BAFFLES me this is a sleeping pad thread and no mention of exped....I have been loyal to Exped for almost 10 years now. Exceptional CS and product.

    And yes PUN INTENDED. Hope it didnt deflate anyone too bad....
    Trail Miles: 3,918.6 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1 Completion: 2004.8 - AT Map 2 Completion: 265.0

  17. #17
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    It BAFFLES me this is a sleeping pad thread and no mention of exped....I have been loyal to Exped for almost 10 years now. Exceptional CS and product.

    And yes PUN INTENDED. Hope it didnt deflate anyone too bad....
    I'm not familiar with the ExPed line. But a quick look at their web site looks like their pads are either heavier or have a lower R-Value for a similar NeoAir xLite.

  18. #18

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    I have an XLite and an XTherm, and fairly recently bought an Exped, though I don’t remember what model. They’re all closer to two hundred dollars than one hundred. They are all the wide versions, and comfortable to sleep on. The XTherm is nicely warm, the XLite is warm enough to about 35*, and the Exped was the easiest to inflate and deflate, and comfy, it wasn’t as wide, and for whatever reason, it wasn’t as warm. I’ll still happily use it... it fits in my tent best. The NeoAirs are all tremendously long, because that’s the only way you can get the wide pads. The Exped is shorter, but tapered some, and where it tapers, but I do not, it lets me get cool. They’re all nice pads. If I had to pick one, it would be the Therm. Yes it’s a few ounces heavier, but if I can only have one, I want the one that would let me be warm. I can always throw the covers to the side.

  19. #19

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    Last two pads I have purchased were Thermarest X-therms. Not cheap, not ultra-light, a little crinkly, but great R-Factor and give side sleepers some hope. Unlike some other pieces of equipment, I don't think there is a "this is the one" sleeping pad. Depends on the sleeper, what they need and how much they are willing to fork out.

  20. #20
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Another vote for anything Thermarest for the quality and reliability. I also own a Nemo and Klymit pad, and used to own a Big Agnes - all satisfactory as well. I also prefer the self-inflating foam style over the air pad - yes it's a weight penalty, but when the air pad goes flat, it goes absolutely flat. A self-inflator at least retains a little something, and I find it more comfortable, quieter, and less bouncy than air pads. A whole lot cheaper, too.

    I used shorty pads for decades, but have recently been convinced by advancing age that a full length pad is worth it. I use a regular Prolite (1" thick) in the summer and a Prolite apex (2") in the winter. And no matter what pad I use, I have a half a z-rest (6-8 sections summer, full length winter) to add warmth & cushion, protect the expensive pad, serve as a seat/nap pad during daytime breaks, and provide a decent night's sleep if the pad springs a leak in the middle of the night.

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